A crisis in the supply of electricity which is coming at the worst time in France.
As Europe grapples with the energy shortage caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine, France has so far shown denial.
Thanks to its nuclear power industry, the country is likely a net exporter of electricity to the rest of Europe, including Britain. Unlike Germany, which had to rapidly reduce its energy consumption due to its heavy dependence on Russian gas, France uses relatively little gas in its energy mix. Indeed, with soaring energy prices, the French government has focused more on subsidizing fuel prices than encouraging energy savings.
This is why President Emmanuel Macron chose the national holiday of July 14 to tell the French that they too should save money. It is called an energy “sobriety” diet, in order to reduce consumption and waste.
The government wants to reduce the overall energy consumption of the French by 10% by 2024. It will impose amendments on stores that leave their doors open while the air conditioning is on, or their commercial signs lit all night. The major French retailers have promised to reduce the lighting in their stores and to turn off illuminated signs outside opening hours.